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Howard P. Ladd

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Howard P. Ladd Obituary
April 5, 1921 - July 7, 2015 Howard P. Ladd, a pioneer in consumer electronics, passed away on July 7, 2015. Born to David and Augusta (Gertrude) Ladd in Providence, Rhode Island on April 5, 1921 and raised in Philadelphia, Howard graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in electrical engineering and went on to receive his Master's in Business from the Wharton School of Business. Howard's prowess as a businessman and interest in technology were further developed during his four years in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Among many engineering projects, he was integrally involved in the development of radio controlled target drone aircraft. Upon his release from active duty, Howard visited Los Angeles and never looked back. Over the next ten years Howard was actively involved in the formation of several businesses including a Southern California toy company. It was his great interest in technology however that led him back to electronics and set him on his path to becoming a leader in business and electronic recording equipment design and manufacturing. In 1959, he founded Concord Electronics and designed a line of tape recorders that were sold in the U.S. Most notably, the 5-inch reel-to-reel recorder - an entirely novel and innovative piece of equipment - was to become one of the most successful products in the electronics industry at that time. For the next decade, Concord Electronics continued to innovate and amaze the industry with consumer recording products including the first portable battery operated tape recorder with a built- in radio. Howard's impact on the industry is everlasting. Howard eventually sold Concord and in 1969 became the Executive Vice President and COO of Sanyo Corporation in the U.S. When Sanyo purchased Fisher Corporation, Howard then went on to become the President and CEO of Sanyo/Fisher Corporation Under his leadership, the Sanyo/ Fisher Corporation grew to be a multi-billion dollar leader in the electronics industry. Although Howard tried to retire at age 67, it was short-lived as he and some of his associates founded Mercantile National Bank in Century City. He was the CEO for a decade until the bank was sold. Howard was an avid tennis player and lover of the big band era music. He was preceded in death by his brother, Sumner, his son, David, his grandsons Geoffrey and Phillip Ladd. He is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Lara, his sons Bill (Nancy) and Michael (Isabel), his step-son, Greg (Deanne) Lewis, his nephew Steve (Martha) Ladd and his niece Barbara Dillon as well as his eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 17 to July 19, 2015
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